To those of you who are runners, you have my respect. For those who loathe the idea of running but feel like you’re “supposed to” in order to have the body and health you want, you are not alone! Yes, running can be a great way to get in your cardio, but thankfully, it’s not the only one. Not everyone is cut out to be a runner…
My body thinks running SUCKS. I joke that there are only two times I want to be able to run: to catch public transit when I’m late, and to keep safe when the zombie apocalypse happens. 😉 I’m the only person I know who can try the Couch to 5K running program multiple times and be worse by the end of the third week! (I seriously don’t get how this happens.) My strongest memories of P.E. are of going around the track a seemingly endless amount of laps. It wouldn’t take long before my heart would feel like it wanted to burst through my chest, I was gasping for air, and there was the decidedly gross taste of copper in the back of my throat.
I was put in the (not-quite) remedial running group in basic training. I’d completed the test through sheer will-power alone. After weeks in utter spent training daily, I was ALMOST progressing… until someone who hated running more than myself faked an injury, and I ran into them at full-stride. More than 20 years later, my left knee still acts up.
You wouldn’t be surprised, then to hear that I find any other way to get my heart rate up. Get me on a bicycle? Awesome! Give me a backpack, water, and point me at a hill? Sure!
In the exercise world, cardio (cardiovascular training) is frequently equated with running because it produces the desired effect: A prolonged level of increased heart rate of 20 minutes or more. The higher your heart rate, the less sustainable it is long-term.
Here are 10 ways to get in your cardio that don’t involve running.
  1. Bike
  2. Hike
  3. Dance
  4. Roller skate
  5. Hula hoop
  6. Swim (or any other water-based activity!)
  7. Row
  8. Jump Rope
  9. Boxing
  10. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or circuit workouts that promote increased heart rates with low amounts of time to rest.
Yeah, I totally had to slip that last one in there! 😄
Inquiring minds want to know: what is YOUR favorite endurance activity that gets your heart pumping?
To your health,
Coach Jeri